A teacher lives a lonely life, all the while struggling over his son’s custody. His life slowly gets better as he finds love and receives good news from his son, but his new luck is about to be brutally shattered by an innocent little lie.
Director: Thomas Vinterberg
Cast: Mads Mikkelsen, Thomas Bo Larsen, Annika Wedderkopp, Alexandra Rapaport
After the disappointment that was Valhalla Rising, The Hunt had me gushing over Mads Mikkelsen once again. This movie will hurt you, it will make you think, it will make you question the society which we have now become.
What I liked:
In one word: EVERYTHING
I have no complaints about any aspect of this movie.
- Mads Mikkelsen: He is brilliant as Lucas who though is a popular member of a hunting club is a loner & introvert by nature. He is a Kindergarten teacher & is very popular with the children. It is a treat to watch Mads playing with the kids. His world is nearly complete with a sweet dog Fanny & his best friends Theo & his family being important parts of that world. His ex – wife seems to hate him but his son loves him which becomes more apparent as the movie progresses & almost everyone has abandoned Lucas to his fate.
- Ironies: I could not help but smile at the little ironies in the movie. The most obvious one was when the hunter became the hunted. The next was when Theo & his family are hiding in the car. Theo & his family were actively involved in shaming Lucas & actively participated when the society shunned him. But instead of Lucas hiding, it was them who were forced to hide. I was extra proud of Lucas for not taking any shit lying down. Another thing which struck me was how a teacher, who is responsible for educating children, actively destroys the life of a man, based on the story of a young girl. When Klara tells her about Lucas she quiet readily believes it. However when the same Klara says that Lucas is innocent, neither the teacher nor her mother believe her. The complete denial of the girl makes her more of a sufferer but no a single person stops to think that maybe the man who was our friend for so long is innocent & is being falsely accused. It is good to have a teacher so involved with the welfare of the children, but to be involved to the point where you exclude common sense…? She even goes to the extent of interfering with his personal life & telling about the incident to his ex – wife. Another thing I observed was how all the shunning was done by the female staff. I guess Lucas was the only man there but unfortunately discrimination against men is on the rise. Even before the court can pronounce the man guilty, women around feel it is their moral duty to make sure the man suffers as much as possible. We women tend to go all high and mighty & judge a man & pronounce him guilty just because a woman accused him.
- The scene in the church: Lucas did not cry for the longest while. It is only when he sees his own best friend whispering with his wife that he breaks down. It is a very touching scene. In front of him are the children from his Kindergarten, the kids he taught, the kids he played with, maybe he taught that Christmas carol to them? Behind him sits his best friend talking bad about him. Everyone is with someone. Everyone is happy. He is the only one who is alone. The person who should have been with him all the while has joined the accusers. My eyes teared up when Lucas got in to a fight with Lucas.
- The ending: I don’t know who shot at Lucas. But the ending gives a very important message to everyone. Accusations like the one Lucas faced never go away. The law may forgive you but the people don’t. They remember. They always remember. And you cannot go back to being the good man you always were. The society doesn’t allow you.
What I did not like:
Nothing. I loved every single minute of this movie. It will definitely be on my list of movies to watch & re-watch time & again. 🙂
But is hunting legal in Denmark? If, yes that is terrible. I have never understood what pleasure anyone gets hunting down helpless animals & that too from a position of power which guns, binoculars, daylight inevitably provide the hunter
Was Klara really abused? If yes, who abused her? For some reason I think it was her brother. I felt that is why he cried during the Christmas scene. Maybe he feels sorry for doing what he did? Or maybe he feels sorry that it was Lucas who got the blame? Or did she make THAT big of an elaborate story just because her brother showed her those porn pictures? Can a child be that imaginative? And from whom did she get the details for that story? While I certainly hated Klara for what she did, and I do not think I can forgive her as easily as Lucas did, but in the end even she is to be pitied. She has been exposed to indecent behaviour. Unfortunately no one will ever know.
A 5/5 for the movie.
(For anyone interested, there is a Pakistani movie called Behadd on a similar subject. Another beautiful movie which you should definitely watch if you liked The Hunt)